The Killing of Quasem Soleimani Sparks Tension in the Middle East
January 14, 2020
On January 3, Quasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed by an airstrike ordered by U.S President Donald Trump. Soleimani was the head of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and al-Muhandis was in charge of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The Trump Administration has viewed Soleimani as a ruthless killer, and the Pentagon has blamed him for the death of hundreds of Americans during several of his attacks.
During the airstrike, six people were killed near the Baghdad International Airport. The missiles were targeting cars that could have Soleimani and al-Muhandis. According to Zachary Cohan from CNN, Trump said “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”
Quasem Soleimani’s burial has been postponed due to a deadly stampede that has killed at least 50 people and 200 who were injured at Soleimani’s memorial event. According to Alexander Smith, “Iranian officials have vowed to avenge Soleimani, who was head of the Quds Force, an elite unit of its Revolutionary Guard.” According to Alexander Smith Soleimani was a huge influential figure. Many Iranian leaders have promised revenge against the United States for Soleimani.
The U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, agrees and stands by the decision to do an airstrike on Soleimani. Pompeo also stands by President Trump’s Iran policy. According to Megan Specia, Pompeo has stated before that “Iran posed a threat to American lives.” Pompeo is a former CIA director, according to himself when he was interviewed after the strike.
On January 7, Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at a US military base in Iraq according to Gordan Lubold from The Wall Street Journal. Iran launched the missile in retaliation for killing Soleimani. The US troops that were at the base at that time were prepared for an attack from Iran. As of January 7, there are no casualties that people know of.
Due to the US firing an airstrike and killing Soleimani, crude oil prices have risen according to Mike Murphy from Market Watch. According to Mike Murphy “U.S. stock market futures tumbled late Tuesday after Iran fired multiple missiles at air bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, raising fears of a wider Middle East conflict.” Iran is trying not to start a war with America, but as of now, different people in power are deeming what Iran did to the Iraq base a war threat.